Last week Tampa Bay beat Seattle 38-15 to keep their playoff hopes alive. But a week 15 loss to Detroit is the reason why they’ll need a lot of help from other teams plus a win this week to make the playoffs. They face the Saints in New Orleans this Sunday. At 11-4, the Saints have already clinched a playoff spot and with a win this week could clinch the NFC north division. This week’s game kicks off at 4:00 p.m. EST.
The Bucs are 9-6, but so are two other NFC teams fighting for the same last playoff spot. The Giants take on the Redskins while the Packers play the Bears, and they’ll both have to lose while the Bucs will have to beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season to make the playoffs. The Bucs have been outscored 141-74 in all losing matches against teams with winning records including an embarrassing home loss to none other than QB Drew Brees and the Saints back on Oct. 17. In this contest, Brees threw for 263 yards and 3 TDs while he went untouched in the pocket. However, the Bucs are coming off their best contest of the season and their much improved offense could make this match closer than expected.
QB Josh Freeman of Tampa is coming off a career game in Seattle last week throwing for a franchise record 5 TD passes and a QB rating of over 140, further solidifying himself as a solid passer in only his 2nd professional season.
Bucs vs. Saints Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Tampa Bay Bucs +7.5
@ New Orleans Saints -7.5
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Bucs vs. Saints Prediction for Week 17 Betting:
Spread Prediction (Top Play): I have already mentioned in previous weeks the resilience of QB Josh Freeman and it is hard to ignore the fact that he can play under pressure and come back from a deficit. This week against the Saints, Freeman will have to prove his resilience once again and the Bucs will have to play a high scoring game to keep this game close. In the end the Saints will be too strong but it will be close, especially with how the Bucs have been playing.
Game Total Prediction: The Saints are one of the toughest teams to defend against at home. They’re averaging 28 points per game at home in their last 3 contests, and the Bucs don’t have a very good defense. Tampa gives up over 133 yards on the ground per game. With the Bucs coming off a monster game last week against Seattle paired with the Saints firepower, it’s hard not to go with the over.
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